3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Expanding Your Portable Restroom Division

Taking steps to grow your business is smart, but do your research to avoid setting yourself up for failure.
3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Expanding Your Portable Restroom Division

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Starting your own business is incredibly hard. Some people believe that after the first few years it gets easier, but it can actually get harder. Your decisions start to impact more people. You have to decide when to grow your business and when to stay put. The most important thing to remember is that whether you are hiring more staff, buying more equipment or expanding into a new area, growth can be really scary. 

There is no perfect equation for expansion. Some steps toward growth are really great for your business. Others may be a failure and you will have to take a step or two back. But all small businesses feel this pressure. Even Steve Jobs started off small in the beginning.

The most important question you should ask yourself is: can you handle the cost of expansion? Expanding into a new territory or state means you will most likely need more equipment and maybe even some new trucks. You will also need to permit your trucks and workers in those new states, towns, etc.

Obviously, increased work will most likely mean more employees. Does your company have the extra funds to handle these costs? If not, then you should hold off. You don’t want to strain a successful business by stretching yourself too thin.

If you can handle expansion financially, then the next question is where to expand. Where is the work right now? Drive around and see where the construction is. Are you looking to expand into another state? Find out if there are some large special events in those areas. Or maybe there is a large contract you may be able to take over, like a county with a lot of parks or a stadium with restrooms in the parking lot. Take your time and do some research. You want to make sure there is enough work to go around when you add yourself to the mix.

The last question is how will this expansion fit into your current work? Do you have some routes that are a little light? Maybe driving a little farther for some more work is a good fit. For example, our Philadelphia branch is located near one of the many bridges into New Jersey. Expanding into New Jersey made a lot of sense given how close we were. A quick trip over a bridge opened up three new counties within a half hour of our yard. We started in one county and as we grew, we added more counties when the work increased. Gradual expansion may not be exciting, but it is smart not to bite off more than you can chew.

It is really important to remember that there is no recipe for success. All small businesses are made up of a series of trial and error. But if you believe in your drivers and the service you provide, you can easily find success in new areas. 

About the Author: Alexandra Townsend is co-owner of A Royal Flush, based in Philadelphia.


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